The Story: After eluding the cops, psychopathic killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) turns an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town into a gruesome torture chamber. Jigsaw's new protégée, Amanda (Shawnee Smith), kidnaps a doctor (Bahar Soomekh), who is now forced to keep the evil master alive. Barely clinging to life, Jigsaw begins to carry out his gruesome plans for the lady doc and another helpless victim (Angus Macfayden).
The Good: If you liked the gore factor in the first two, you're sure to enjoy this one as well. The games are, dare I say, even crazier and more demented this time around. The one that got to me the most wasn't even a game but when the doctor performs surgery on Jigsaw, cutting open his skull to alleviate the pressure on his brain. Let’s just say it was a pretty intense scene. The Saw movies are famous for their twists and this one, while not quite as shocking as the others, is still a good surprise. Tobin Bell also turns in another quality job for what is fast becoming one of the most iconic villains of the new millennia.
The Bad: The story does a good job of setting up the new characters and their predicaments, but does not take advantage of this by going deeper. The ingredients were there for a story that would rise well above your typical horror genre spiel, but it ultimately fails in that regard. Part of this is due to the writing, some critical moments/reactions just don’t feel real, and to the acting, which, outside of Tobin Bell, is nothing noteworthy. It would have helped tremendously if there had been a strong central character as good as Donnie Walberg's, whose great performance helped carry the last movie. Without revealing any of the twists, the ending feels like it’s missing something, ending up not as satisfying as it should have been.
The Verdict: While not as good as its predecessors, Saw III still remains a worthy entrant in the franchise. Unfortunately it suffers from a lack of emotional depth, squandering the opportunity to improve upon the series. But don’t worry, there will be another chance: Saw IV is on the way.